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Dems impeached Trump for defying subpoenas, now Biden says he won't comply with one either

Democrats said ignoring subpoenas is disqualifying

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview on Friday that he would not comply with a subpoena if the Senate were to call him to testify in President Trump's impeachment trial.

"What are you going to cover?" Biden responded to Des Moines Register Executive Editor Carol Hunter when she asked him if he would be willing to appear before Congress. "You guys are going to cover for three weeks anything that I said. And (Trump's) going to get away. You guys buy into it all the time. Not a joke … Think what it's about. It's all about what he does all the time, his entire career. Take the focus off. This guy violated the Constitution. He said it in the driveway of the White House. He acknowledged he asked for help."

Biden added that any attempt to subpoena him would be on "specious" grounds and that he does not believe the Senate will compel him to testify, according to the Register. The Democratic candidate also said that him appearing before the Senate would be part of a candidate to "take the focus off" of Trump.

Wasn't Trump just impeached for this?

Should Biden refuse to comply with a Senate subpoena, it would place Democrats in a politically awkward situation and undermine their impeachment case since the former vice president would be engaging in conduct that is similar to the activities detailed in one of the House's charges against Trump.

Democrats levied two articles of impeachment against President Trump:

The first charge declared that Trump abused his power by tying foreign aid to Ukraine in exchange for the country's president announcing an investigation into a company on which Biden's son, Hunter Biden, served on the board.

The second article of impeachment accused the president of "Obstruction of Congress," which included directing the "Executive Branch agencies, offices, and officials not to comply with those subpoenas." The Democrats said that by instructing others to defy a congressional subpoena, President Trump "interposed the powers of the Presidency against the lawful subpoenas of the House of Representatives."

Democrats said defying a subpoena disqualified Trump from presidency

According to the House Democrats's charges, Trump's defiance of subpoenas merited his "impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States."

House and Senate leaders are negotiating the terms of an impeachment trial. Biden has not been subpoenaed, but some of Trump's allies have suggested he should be.


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